The Central Appalachian Network, or “CAN,” has been a driving force for entrepreneurship and community-based sustainable development in central Appalachia for more than 15 years. The seven member organizations of CAN have spawned some of the region‘s most innovative and enduring economic development work in a wide range of sectors: forestry and forest products, artisan products and crafts, food and farming, and green building and energy efficiency.
SCALE, Inc began working with CAN in December, 2009, a partnership that is ongoing. Because of the diverse nature of CAN’s organizations and initiatives, this contract has also been multi-faceted, including;
An Assessment of Cooperative Extension‘s capacity and involvement in healthy local food systems work in the Appalachian portions of Tennessee, Ohio and Virginia;
A concise analysis of local food procurement efforts among a sampling of 14 colleges and universities in the region, both public and private, and including both self-operated and corporate-managed dining services;
A series of training workshops for farmers and local foods leaders in West Virginia, Ohio and Tennessee covering hoop houses and season extension, food safety and GAP (Good Agricultural Practices), intensive organic vegetable production, and expanding and strengthening small-town farmers markets;
Collaborative work to develop indicators and meaningful measurements of wealth creation and triple-bottom-line economic development.
SCALE‘s partnership with CAN continues, focused on catalyzing and expanding food systems in Appalachian Kentucky, Virginia, Tennessee, West Virginia and Ohio, and exploring the development of Local Living Economy networks in the region.